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Geotechnical and Mineralogical Properties of the Recently Exposed Black Mud Deposits along the Northeastern Shore of the Dead Sea

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Document pages: 14 pages

Abstract: Along the recently evacuated shores of the retreating Dead Sea black mud deposits have been exposed and hence subjected to head ward erosion resulting in landslides and land collapses threatening herewith the infrastructure in the area. The geotechnical and mineralogical characterization of the black mud show the presence of a variety of clays including smectite, kaolinite, illite, montmorollinite and muscovite with a natural water content near the liquid limit. These geotechnical and mineralogical properties indicate that the mud is prone to rapid erosion and sliding, which actually hit the area and have until now caused damages and degrading topography and geology in the area. The study also refers the origin of the black mud and its organic content to the erosion and deposition of Upper Cretaceous-Tertiary oil shale deposits formerly covering the whole surrounding areas of the Dead Sea. The study suggests engineering solutions to the geologic degradation processes in the area, before further damage to the infrastructure takes place.

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